Monday, July 15, 2013

Bards & Goblins

As I try to wake up this Monday morning, my thoughts are focused on the titles for my new novel.  I am thinking of changing title of first book to "The Bard Maiden of Rhulon."  This book has had a few working titles and this may just be one of them-but for some reason when I did a poll on a wonderful group called Fantasy Writers in my Facebook, I put in 3 possible titles-The Goblin Cabal, A Conspiracy of Goblins, and Bard Maiden of Rhulon.  The original top title, Goblin Cabal, only got 3 votes, and though Conspiracy of Goblins did better, the hands down winner is Bard Maiden of Rhulon.  So I am using that for now. It's cool since the bard maiden is the major character throughout this trilogy I am putting together.  Sometimes you need an outside source to get a perspective on basics in writing and Fantasy Writers Group provided me some new insight.   That is what these groups are for and they can help. 
Now I am going to drink more strong black tea with milk and sugar to revive brain so I can write about my bard.
More later.

Verna McKinnon 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Goblins are coming!

Hello Friends,

Updating you on the progress of my new novel quest-which I plan to finish a full solid draft by end of Summer.  So much for my tan.  Over the past week I was insane with mass editing the first 6 chapters of my new novel.  It was crazed.  In order to do good editing, you need to both read your product both in hard copy as well as on the computer.   Tedious but necessary.  I also read my chapters out loud for flow and rhythm.  I also make sure no one is around when I do this.  After huge quantities of coffee or tea, the beginning of my heroic fantasy novel is solid and read to continue on.  I also did an experiment to see what people thought of my current working titles for novel at the Fantasy Writers group on Facebook, of which I am a member.( I love those guys)  I got some interesting feedback and votes on my proposed titles.  You cannot please everybody but some good responses might guide you elsewhere. 

An interesting point someone made was my primary audience?  This was interesting because I want this to be heroic fantasy.  I do not do sparkly romantic vampires or bloody dark depressing fantasy or fluffy kids books.  I remember when fantasy and science fiction was aimed at everyone of all ages.  I think the problem with our current trends is we try to box in fantasy types into too many sub genres.  The teen fantasy section in some bookstores is a prime example of that-urban contemporary teen witches or vampires with tight outfits and cool tattoos.  I am not saying those are bad-I just do not write that type of fantasy.
I do write fantasy that involves an imaginative world with magic & adventure, strong good characters that are not boring, interesting evil characters with purpose,  humor, action, war, sharp dialogue, and fully developed cultures & societies set in a secondary world.  My main hero is female (actually there are 2 main female characters) but also some great strong male characters in the lead.  I also write with series in mind and this novel will be the first of 3.  A trilogy.  I love those.  I love epics and good fantasy epics are the best.  I write what I want to read. 
So let's talk about my lead character-Rose Greenleaf.  She is great and the central character of this series.  She is strong and an outcast among her own people.  I will refer to my novel as The Goblin Conspiracy for now.  It is only a working title but this summer it's all about Rose and those wicked goblins.   There is more but I am keeping that in shadows for now. 
Back to writing.  Chapter 7 and the Goblin King await my attention.  So I must leave you now as goblins are not very patient-especially hobgoblins!
More to come.

Verna McKinnon


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Writing the Novel, Part 1:Revision, Sanity, & Dust Bunnies

Greeting Friends,

The process of getting back on track with a novel (or short story) you are writing when you have been away from it for awhile may seem daunting.   But these pesky things can be overcome.  In the first of a series of blogs to help the writer survive the process of, well, writing, I offer my humble guide.
The literary challenge of penning a new novel is mammoth, but I am determined to finish it.  I have made these provisions.  These are my 7 rules to beginning a novel.
1.  Clean away dust bunnies.
2.  Prep my compendium for the novel (which is a sort of bible for my story with all the details for the world, characters, plot, etc.)  When you write fantasy it is essential.
3. Stock supplies of chocolate, tea, coffee, snacks, and favorite music to write with.
4. Buy aspirin-the convenient jumbo economy size.
5. Buy paper for printing. 
6. Buy flash drives to save literary files in case of catastrophe or zombie apocalypse.
7. Turn off the world when you write.

More to come later.   I must go be a literary genius.  Where's that chocolate???

Verna McKinnon